Afghanistan

On Saturday May 22, a U.S. drone strike killed Mullah Mansour, the leader of the Taliban and architect of the group’s bloody reconquest of Afghanistan this past year. Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports on the killing, and Hari Sreenivasan talks to former Pakistani diplomat Riaz Mohammad Khan and former State Department official Barnett Rubin about what lies ahead for the Taliban.

May 23, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

As the Taliban collected the body of its slain leader on Monday, the insurgent group also began discussing his replacement, insiders say — a choice that could spark furious infighting and signal whether there's any chance of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.

Two senior members of the Afghan Taliban told NBC News that they'd received the burned remains of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who was killed Saturday in a U.S. airstrike in southwest Pakistan — the first time since the beginning of the Afghan war that the United States had directly targeted a Taliban leader.

May 23, 2016
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Early on Saturday, a middle-aged Pashtun man used forged documents to cross from Iran into Pakistan. A few hours later, on a lonely stretch of highway, he was incinerated by an American drone.

May 24, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Dr. Barnett Rubin published "Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror" in hard cover in  April 2013, and a paper back version was published through Oxford University Press in May 2015. Amazon writes that Rubin distills his unmatched knowledge of Afghanistan in this invaluable book. He shows how the Taliban arose in resistance to warlords some of whom who were raping and plundering with impunity in the vacuum of authority left by the collapse of the Afghan state after the Soviet withdrawal.

May 19, 2015
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan
Afghanistan

The United States should work with the Afghan government to help young Afghans build a future for themselves in their country. But America's responsibility to them — after 14 years of failing to bring peace and security to Afghanistan — goes beyond that. 

While the U.S. was operating in Afghanistan, it created a parallel public service sector to the Afghan government that was larger and better paid. The U.S. and NATO military and aid programs employed thousands of young Afghans, newly educated in schools the West paid for.

Apr 06, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan

After the December 2014 Army Public School (APS) massacre in Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised there would be “no differentiation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban”. In February 2015, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif announced in Kabul that “the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan”. Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the prime minister on national security, repeated the same sentiment in May that year.

Feb 18, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Islamabad has to remove terrorism from the India-Pakistan relationship, and India’s restraint is helping it. But that restraint can continue only as long as Pakistan takes firm measures against those guilty of anti-Indian terrorism

Feb 09, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan

The Afghan militant group that sheltered Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks is closing the door to the Islamic State.

The Taliban is giving up on holding talks with the group and will prevent it from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said by e-mail. He accused the media and intelligence agencies of inflating the Islamic State’s strength.

Feb 03, 2016
Barnett Rubin

As a bloody offensive by the Taliban spreads in Afghanistan and with American combat operations there officially ended, anxious Chinese leaders find themselves under pressure to take a more active role in the long-stalled peace process, according to scholars and current and former diplomats.

Jan 24, 2016
Barnett Rubin
China, South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

As the battlefield losses in Afghanistan mount and entire swathes of the country that cost hundreds of U.S.-led coalition and Afghan military lives to secure slip back into Taliban hands.

Jan 11, 2016
Barnett Rubin

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